Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer

Jack Robinson: Parents Throw 'Star Wars' Funeral for Boy Who Died of Cancer
Jack Robinson (left) and his Star Wars funeral
SN /Landov(2)

updated 04/16/2014 AT 01:25 PM EDT

originally published 04/16/2014 AT 12:00 PM EDT

When 4-year-old Jack Robinson was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January, his parents knew that he might not have very much time left. The tumor was inoperable, and he had only a 5 percent chance of survival.

So Marie and Terence Robinson set about trying to make their son's final days as memorable as possible. They helped Jack make a bucket list: See a meerkat, ride in a fire engine and meet British celebrities, like X Factor judge Gary Barlow and Doctor Who star Matt Smith.

Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

Jack Robinson and his video message from Doctor Who star Matt Smith

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The community soon rallied to help the young boy get his wishes. Family friends Melissa O'Donnell and Andrea Yearsley organized a #FightForJack campaign, complete with a Valentine's Day fundraiser ball and charity auction. Portsmouth Football Club visited Jack and donated signed T-shirts for the cause, while a group of local bikers went on a 300-mile charity ride.

By late February, the campaign had attracted the notice of Barlow, who visited Jack in his hospital, and Smith, who recorded a video message for his young fan.



Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

Jack Robinson (left) and Gary Barlow

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With all the support they received, Marie and Terence were able to cross off most of Jack's bucket list, including an early 5th birthday for him and his twin brother, Liam, as well as an early Christmas. The only items he missed were a visit from actor David Tennant, who was out of the country, and a trip to Disneyland.

Jack died on April 1. On April 10, his parents gave him one last gift: a Star Wars-themed funeral, complete with an honor guard of Stormtroopers.

"Jack absolutely loved Star Wars," O'Donnell told PEOPLE. "You would never see him without a lightsaber in his hands, right up to the end."

Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

Jack Robinson's Stormtrooper honor guard

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R2-D2 was in attendance as the young boy was laid to rest to "The Binary Sunset," Luke Skywalker's theme from Star Wars: A New Hope. His coffin was decorated with images from the film and accompanied by a large wreath that read, "Jedi."

Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

R2-D2 at Jack Robinson's funeral

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A funeral procession of 60 people walked behind the carriage, including Liam and Jack's three sisters, Danielle, Christina and Natalie.

Programs for the ceremony hailed Jack as a Jedi Master who had "joined the force" on April 1.



"I wanted his funeral to have a twist, because he was so unique," Marie Robinson told the Portsmouth News.

"Jack was a lovely little boy, who was always smiling," O'Donnell told PEOPLE. "My mum used to call him the boy with a thousand smiles."

Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

Jack Robinson's funeral carriage

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The funeral included traditional elements as well. Local singer Marnie Clements covered "I Will Always Love You," while Marie Robinson played a version of Ellie Goulding's "How Long Will I Love You" she had recorded for the occasion.

"Jack liked the song, and I liked to sing it with him," Marie Robinson explained to the Portsmouth News.

Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

The 60-person funeral procession

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"It was the loveliest funeral ever," O'Donnell told PEOPLE. "Jack would have loved it."

Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

Jack Robinson's funeral procession arrives at the church

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To honor Jack's memory, his parents are suggesting mourners donate to the Naomi House Children's Hospice, the CLIC Sargent cancer charity and the Rainbow Trust children's charity.


Parents Hold Star Wars Funeral for 4-Year-Old Son Who Died of Cancer| Around the Web, Real People Stories

Ashlee Hammac installed this sandbox atop her son's grave, so 3-year-old Tucker can play with his brother

Courtesy Ashlee Hammac



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